A Dynasty of Destruction

Śrī Bhāgavata 4.8.1 ~ 5:

Having finished his explanation of why Satī bore Śiva no children, Maitreya continued to describe the decedents of Brahmā.

Several did not develop families, because they preferred to direct their energies to higher things. These were the Sanaka quadruplets, Nārada, Ṛbhu, Haṁsa, Aruṇi, and Yati.

One line of Brahmā’s decedents was destructive. Deceit, the wife of Immorality had a boy named Hypocrisy and a girl named Fraud. These two children were kidnapped by Lawlessness (Nirṛti), who has no children of her own.

Hypocrisy and Fraud gave birth to a boy named Greed and a girl named Shameless. Greed and Shameless gave birth to a boy named Anger and a girl named Hostility. Anger and Hostility gave birth to a boy named War and a girl named Slander. Slander and War produced Fear and Death, who produced Retaliation and Annihilation.

It is important to know the basics about this dynasty of destruction. By hearing three times about this dynasty, we purify ourselves of these bad qualities.

Comment: The root of destruction is Immorality, who expands via Deceit. Therefore if we can simply be honest we can avoid proliferation of immorality and the destruction it brings.  Honesty (satyam) is therefore a primary religious principle, included by Patāñjalī (in the Yoga-Sūtra) among the five essential self-disciplines.

Deceit has two manifestations: Hypocrisy and Fraud. Hypocrisy is a type of deceit because we say one thing but do another, we do not live up to our claims, and we do not fulfill our promises. Breaking a promise is included as hypocrisy. Fraud is outright, intentional deceit – misrepresentation.

Hypocrisy and Fraud are dear to Lawlessness, so dear that she kidnaps them from Immorality and raises them as her own children. Lawlessness has no children of her own because there is absolutely no fruit from lawlessness, only chaos and destruction. But she adopts Hypocrisy and Fraud as her own and expands her destruction through them.

Hypocrisy gives rise to Greed, because hypocrisy is leniency towards oneself, while trying to discipline others. This leads to the attitude, “I deserve forgiveness, but no one else does.” This leads to, “I deserve to be happy, others do not.” This leads to Greed.

Fraud produces Shamelessness. Indeed it is impossible to successfully tell boldface lies (Fraud) if one is modest and has shame. So, to support itself, fraud leads to shamelessness. The more shameless we are the better fraud we can commit.

Greed and Shamelessness lead to anger and hostility. “I deserve things, others do not” (Greed) leads to anger at the fact that often others get things and we do not. This anger would remain simply as anger were it not for shamelessness. With the help of shamelessness Anger can be accompanied by Hostility. Hostility means “Oh, you got something I want? Now I will ruin you, so that you drop it, and I can pick it up.”

Anger and Hostility lead to War and Slander. Slander is the subtle form of war. Both Slander and War are the attacks, the way we try to ruin others so that we can take what they have.

Slander and War produce Fear and Death, not just for the victim of the slander and war, but also for the perpetrator. In war everyone dies and everyone becomes afraid, the party who started the war as well as the party initially attacked. Why? Because Fear and Death give rise to Retaliation and Annihilation.

Annihilation is the end result.

So, we must by a reign, a muzzle on our Deceit, for without being Deceitful our immorality cannot grow stronger. Honesty will make immorality weaker. Therefore the greatest sin is to lie and deceive.


The Sanskrit:

Irreligion – Adharma

Deceit – Mṛṣā

Hypocrisy – Dambha

Fraud – Māyā

Lawlessness – Nirṛti

Greed – Lobha

Shamelessness – Nikṛti

Anger – Krodha

Hostility – Hiṁsā

War / Quarrel – Kali

Slander – Durukti

Retaliation – Yātanā

Annihilation – Niraya

Vraja Kishor dāsa


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